Atlas Montane - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel lift
Cons: Tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wide
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Atlas Montane - Women's
|Price||$229.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel lift||Easy and natural stride, unique 3-crampon traction system, easy binding system||Comfortable and simple binding system, carbon steel crampons, uniquely placed heel crampons, inclusive sizing, quiet||Affordable, stellar traction, easy to use, versatile bindings||Easy binding adjustments, excellent traction, flexible, budget-friendly, good for packed snow, lightweight|
|Cons||Tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wide||Subpar float on unpacked snow, only supports 200 pounds, bulky heel lift||Extra rotation causes shin impact, mediocre flotation on fresh snow||Loud on packed snow, duck waddle for those with a narrower gait, straps do not stay in place||Loud, below average float on fresh snow, straps flop around|
|Bottom Line||This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe for all kinds of terrain and objectives||A snowshoe with an extreme teardrop shape and three hefty crampons for a natural stride and extra traction||With its outstandingly comfortable binding system, decent floatation, and stellar traction, this snowshoe is perfect for casual use||This affordable shoe is equipped with stellar traction and versatile bindings, making it a wonderful pick for varied terrain levels and snow types||A lightweight snowshoe perfect for beginner terrain with easy-to-adjust bindings, great traction, and flexible decking|
|Rating Categories||Atlas Montane - Wom...||Crescent Moon Gold 15||Tubbs Wilderness -...||MSR Evo Trail Snows...||Atlas Helium Trail...|
|Stride Ergonomics (15%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Atlas Montane - Wom...||Crescent Moon Gold 15||Tubbs Wilderness -...||MSR Evo Trail Snows...||Atlas Helium Trail...|
|Uses||All terrain||Technical mountain terrain and packed snow||Day hiking||Flat and variable rolling terrain||Trail walking|
|Optimum Weight Load (per size)||23": 80-160 lbs
27": 120-200+ lbs
|Up to 200 lbs||21": 80-150 lbs
25": 120-200 lbs
30": 170-250 lbs
|180 lbs||23": 80-160 lbs
26": 150-220 lbs
30": 200-270+ lbs
|Weight (per pair)||4.1 lbs||4.2 lbs||4 lbs||3.5 lbs without tails
4.4 lbs with tails
|Binding System||Wrapp Swift Binding||Cam buckle quick pull loop and ratchet heel strap||180 EZ Pro Binding||DuoFit||WrapTrail|
|Crampon||All-Trac Toe Crampon||3 stainless steel crampon system featuring the climbing "toe" claw design||Cobra Toe Crampon
Tubbs Heel Crampon
|Steel traction rails and brake bars||Toe crampon|
|Frame Material||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Martensitic steel||Composite|
|Deck Material||Nytex||Nylon||SoftTec, Composite||Polypropylene||Composite|
|Surface Area (for tested size)||182.25 in²||192.5 in²||225 in²||174 in² without tails, 220 in² with||190 in²|
|Dimensions||8" x 27"||9.5" x 29"||9" x 30"||8" x 22"||8" x 30"|
|Flotation Tails Available?||No||No||No||Yes, 6"||No|
|Load with Tails (per size)||n/a||n/a||n/a||Up to 250 lbs||n/a|
|Men's and Women's Versions?||No, women's specific||Yes||Yes||Unisex||Unisex|
|Sizes Available||23", 27"||29"||21", 25", 30"||22"||23", 26", 30"|
|Size Tested||27"||29"||30"||22" plus 6" add-on tails||30"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Fun, functional, and easy to use — that's the Montane. This is an all-around great snowshoe with a fantastic binding system (one of our favorites), sticky traction, and enough flotation for more casual terrain and packed snow.
We tested the Montane in the 27" length, the largest of three sizes available. This is about average for our tested models, but the curves of this teardrop-shaped snowshoe make the footprint a little smaller. This is great for stride ergonomics but hinders the float on particularly deep snow, rendering the Montane a better option for well-packed trails and less ideal for the backcountry.
Feeling secure on technical terrain is no problem in the Montane. The toe crampon is multi-directional with wide teeth, and two traction rails run parallel down the footbed to help provide solid footing on steep slopes and icy patches. A few options in our review feel grippier and are better suited to advanced terrain, but the Montane is more than adequate for most situations.
The Montane is ever-so-slightly wider across the ball of the foot than most snowshoes, and, believe it or not, we could feel that while walking. Every once in a while, our testers would knock one foot into the other if they weren't paying attention. While this is something to keep in mind when deciding on your purchase, every body is shaped differently — you may not need to adjust your gait whatsoever. Our adjustments were minor, though noticeable, compared to other models in this review.
The Montane also has a fixed binding system, which means the tail of the shoe closely follows the natural movement of the foot when walking. This can cause the snowshoe to feel marginally heavier for some users due to the back flipping up. It also tends to throw a lot of snow up onto the back of the legs.
Ease of Use
A big aspect of a pleasant-to-use snowshoe is a good binding system, and that's one area where the Montane has no problem shining brightly. The "positive toe locator" makes it easy to place the foot correctly, and the straps tighten up and release with a simple pull of a loop. The back heel belt straps everything down securely with an easy pull; no funny body angles or awkward yanking required. The fixed binding system has a different feel when walking then a full rotation one, but the learning curve is fast and straightforward.
The binding on the Montane feels highly secure and robust. It has strong webbing, a toe cage on the front, and a well-functioning pull strap system around the heel. The retainer clip which houses the excess strap length on the Montane's newest iteration works much better than its predecessor. This is a highly comfortable binding system. There's arch support, and the straps cinch down evenly and uniformly with no pinch points.
The Montane rings up at a very fair price. It has a stellar binding system, impressive traction, okay float, and heel lifts for steep climbing. This is a solid choice if you want to get technical without breaking the bank.
The Atlas Montane is a well-rounded snowshoe fit for technical hiking and variable mountainous terrain. It offers everything you will need to stay happy and comfortable while out, from a great binding system to burly traction to heel lifts for steep ascents, although it lacks a bit in regards to flotation. More serious models are available, but almost all of them come at a little higher price point.
— Hayley Thomas
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